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Benjamin Becker (German pronunciation: [ˈbɛnjamiːn ˈbɛkɐ];[1][2] born 16 June 1981) is a German retired professional tennis player.

Benjamin Becker
Becker RG15 (19282133136).jpg
Becker at the 2015 French Open
Country (sports) Germany
ResidenceMettlach, Germany
Born (1981-06-16) 16 June 1981 (age 38)
Merzig, Saarland, West Germany
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Turned pro2005
Retired2017
PlaysRight-handed (two-handed backhand)
CollegeBaylor Bears
Prize moneyUS$4,399,584
Singles
Career record153–220
Career titles1
Highest rankingNo. 35 (27 October 2014)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open3R (2015)
French Open3R (2015)
Wimbledon2R (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016)
US Open4R (2006)
Doubles
Career record58–106
Career titles0
Highest rankingNo. 58 (5 July 2010)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open3R (2011)
French Open2R (2010, 2012)
Wimbledon3R (2007)
US Open2R (2010)

In the third round of the 2006 US Open, Becker defeated Andre Agassi in what was Agassi's last match as a professional player. Becker is not related to fellow countryman and retired professional tennis player and coach Boris Becker.[3]

Contents

Early life and familyEdit

Benjamin Becker was born on 16 June 1981 in Merzig, West Germany, to Jörg, a tax office worker, and Ulrike. Becker has one younger sister.[4] From 2001-2005, Becker played tennis at Baylor University, winning the NCAA singles championship as a junior in 2004 and leading the Bears to the team title that year. In 2005, the team finished runner-up at the NCAA tournament and won the ITA team indoor championship. He is the school's all-time leader in singles and doubles wins.[5] A rarity in men's tennis, Becker attended college for four years before turning professional.

CareerEdit

2006Edit

2006 was a breakthrough year for Becker. In June of that year, he qualified for Wimbledon and defeated Juan Ignacio Chela, before losing in the second round to Fernando Verdasco. At the 2006 U.S. Open, he defeated Filippo Volandri and No. 30 seed Sébastien Grosjean to reach the third round, where he defeated former world No. 1 Andre Agassi in four sets. The match was especially noteworthy as it was Agassi's last on the ATP circuit; he had announced that the 2006 U.S. Open would be his final tournament, and his defeat was followed by an 8-minute standing ovation from the Arthur Ashe Stadium crowd. The day after Becker's win over Agassi, his own U.S. Open bid was ended by Andy Roddick in the fourth round.

Becker has the distinction of having played the match that finished second latest in ATP history, defeating Jiří Novák in Tokyo in 2006 at 3.24 a.m. Following the 2006 U.S. Open, Becker confirmed his status as a promising newcomer on the ATP Tour, improving his ranking from No. 421 at the beginning of the year to No. 62 in November 2006. As a result, Becker received the Newcomer of the Year award during the 2006 ATP Awards and won the Sportsman of the Year award in his part of Germany. After completing his first season on the ATP Tour, Becker made the fastest rise of any player into the top 50.[6]

2007Edit

2007 saw Becker improving his ranking further in the early season, including through his semi-final appearances at the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships, where he lost to world No. 8 James Blake; and in San Jose at the SAP Open where he lost to Ivo Karlović, the tallest player on the ATP Tour (6' 10"). As a result, Becker's ATP ranking peaked at No. 38 in March 2007. However, in 2007 Becker was unable to progress beyond the first round in any of the Grand Slams or ATP Masters Series events, with the exception of the Monte Carlo Masters, where he lost in the second round to Thomas Johansson.

Given his strong performance at the U.S. Open in the preceding year, Becker's first round loss in the 2007 edition caused his ranking to drop to 79. Despite good form in Bangkok, where he lost in the finals to Dmitry Tursunov, Becker finished the year ranked 84th.

2009Edit

In 2009, Becker won his first ATP World Tour title, the Ordina Open in the Netherlands, defeating local hope Raemon Sluiter.[7]

2010Edit

 
Becker at the 2010 US Open.

Becker reached the semifinal of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, the Ordina Open in 's-Hertogenbosch and the Thailand Open in Bangkok. At the Grand Slam tournaments, Becker reached the second round of the 2010 Australian Open as well as in Wimbledon and at the 2010 US Open. He was knocked out in the first round at the 2010 French Open. He qualified for the ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournament in Shanghai, but lost to Gaël Monfils in the first round. He advanced to the second round of the If Stockholm Open, where he lost to second seed Robin Söderling. He reached the quarterfinals at St.Petersburg, where he lost to Illya Marchenko. He qualified for the BNP Paribas Open in Paris-Bercy, where he lost to Gaël Monfils in the second round after a first-round win over Denis Istomin. He went 29–31 on the season and earned a career-high $543,431.

2011Edit

Becker reached the second round in Brisbane and at the Australian Open, losing to Santiago Giraldo and Alexandr Dolgopolov. He also reached the second round at Indian Wells. The rest of the year, he played mostly Challenger tournaments.

2012Edit

In 2012, Becker reached the second round in Doha, losing to Gaël Monfils, but he was eliminated in the first round of the Australian Open by Marcos Baghdatis. His best run of the year was in Memphis, where he reached the semifinals, defeating Dudi Sela, Xavier Malisse, and Łukasz Kubot, before succumbing to Milos Raonic. He defeated Olivier Rochus in the first round in Miami, but then lost to Julien Benneteau. He won a Challenger title in Nottingham, before reaching the second round at Wimbledon with a win over James Blake. He was eliminated by Radek Stepanek.

Becker made the quarterfinals in Newport, Rhode Island, avenging his loss to Raonic in the second round, but losing to Ryan Harrison. In Washington, DC, he defeated one American, Steve Johnson, in the first round, but fell to another, Sam Querrey, in the second. He also made the second round in Winston-Salem, defeating Tatsuma Ito, but losing to Jarkko Nieminen.

2013Edit

Becker reached the second round of the Australian Open, losing to Juan Martín del Potro. He then suffered a succession of first-round exits before again reaching the final in Nottingham, where he lost to Matthew Ebden. At the Aegon Championships, he reached the quarterfinals, defeating Bernard Tomic, Lukáš Rosol, and Alexandr Dolgopolov, before losing to eventual champion Andy Murray. At Wimbledon, he went down to Murray again in the first round.

Becker won a Challenger even in Istanbul in July. At Cincinnati, he qualified and reached the second round, only to lose to Rafael Nadal. At the US Open, he defeated Lukáš Rosol in the first round, but lost to Novak Djokovic in the second. He reached the quarterfinals in Metz with wins over two Frenchmen, Benoît Paire and Albano Olivetti, but lost to another, Nicolas Mahut. Becker won another Challenger tournament in Eckental, Germany, in October.

2014: Career high rankingEdit

In 2014, Becker reached the second round at Chennai, losing to eventual champion Stanislas Wawrinka. He also reached the second round in Memphis, defeating Lukas Lacko, but succumbing to eventual champion Kei Nishikori. In Miami, he qualified and made the fourth round of the main draw, where he lost to Milos Raonic. In Houston, he made the second round, where he was eliminated by Jack Sock. He made the final of the 2014 Topshelf Open grass tournament that he had won in 2009, but he lost in the final to Roberto Bautista Agut.

ATP career finalsEdit

Singles: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-ups)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0–0)
ATP World Tour 500 Series (0–0)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (1–2)
Titles by surface
Hard (0–1)
Clay (0–0)
Grass (1–1)
Carpet (0–0)
Titles by setting
Outdoor (1–1)
Indoor (0–1)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Opponent Score
Loss 0–1 Sep 2007 Thailand Open, Thailand International Hard (i)   Dmitry Tursunov 2–6, 1–6
Win 1–1 Jun 2009 Rosmalen Championships, Netherlands 250 Series Grass   Raemon Sluiter 7–5, 6–3
Loss 1–2 Jun 2014 Rosmalen Championships, Netherlands 250 Series Grass   Roberto Bautista Agut 6–2, 6–7(2–7), 4–6

Doubles: 2 (2 runner-ups)Edit

Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
ATP World Tour Finals (0–0)
ATP World Tour Masters 1000 (0–0)
ATP World Tour 500 Series (0–0)
ATP World Tour 250 Series (0–2)
Titles by surface
Hard (0–2)
Clay (0–0)
Grass (0–0)
Carpet (0–0)
Titles by setting
Outdoor (0–1)
Indoor (0–1)
Result W–L    Date    Tournament Tier Surface Partner Opponents Score
Loss 0–1 Aug 2009 Los Angeles Open, United States International Hard   Frank Moser   Bob Bryan
  Mike Bryan
4–6, 6–7(2–7)
Loss 0–2 Feb 2010 Pacific Coast Championships, United States 250 Series Hard (i)   Leonardo Mayer   Mardy Fish
  Sam Querrey
6–7(3–7), 5–7

Challenger finalsEdit

Singles: 18 (9–9)Edit

Outcome Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1. 13 February 2006 Joplin, US Hard (i)   Jesse Witten 3–6, 6–7(6–8)
Winner 1. 13 March 2006 Salinas, Ecuador Hard   Jesse Witten 4–6, 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 2. 10 April 2006 Valencia, US Hard   Frédéric Niemeyer 6–4, 3–6, 2–6
Runner-up 3. 31 July 2006 Segovia, Spain Hard   Juan Martín del Potro 4–6, 7–5, 4–6
Runner-up 4. 13 November 2006 Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine Hard (i)   Dmitry Tursunov 6–7(7–9), 4–6
Winner 2. 26 January 2009 Heilbronn, Germany Carpet (i)   Karol Beck 6–4, 6–4
Winner 3. 6 April 2009 Baton Rouge, US Hard   Rajeev Ram 6–2, 3–6, 6–4
Winner 4. 27 April 2009 Rhodes, Greece Hard   Simon Stadler 7–5, 6–3
Runner-up 5. 4 May 2009 Ramat HaSharon, Israel Hard   Yen-Hsun Lu 3–6, 1–3, ret.
Winner 5. 18 May 2009 Cremona, Italy Hard   Izak van der Merwe 7–6(7–3), 6–1
Winner 6. 10 June 2012 Nottingham, UK Grass   Dmitry Tursunov 4–6, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 7. 11 November 2012 Urtijëi, Italy Carpet   Andreas Seppi 6–1, 6–4
Runner-up 6. 9 June 2013 Nottingham, UK Grass   Matthew Ebden 5–7, 6–4, 5–7
Winner 8. 14 July 2013 Istanbul, Turkey Hard   Dudi Sela 6–1, 2–6, 3–2, ret.
Winner 9. 3 November 2013 Eckental, Germany Carpet   Ruben Bemelmans 2–6, 7–6(7–3), 6–4
Runner-up 7. 11 October 2015 Mons, Belgium Hard (i)   Illya Marchenko 2–6, 7–6(10–8), 4–6
Runner-up 8. 8 November 2015 Eckental, Germany Carpet (i)   Mikhail Youzhny 5–7, 3–6
Runner-up 9. 25 September 2016 Columbus, USA Hard (i)   Mikael Torpegaard 4–6, 6–1, 2–6

Performance timelinesEdit

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)
To avoid confusion and double counting, these charts are updated at the conclusion of a tournament or when the player's participation has ended.

SinglesEdit

Tournament 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 SR W-L
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A 1R 1R A 2R 2R 1R 2R 1R 3R 1R Q1 0 / 9 5–9
French Open A Q3 1R 1R A 1R A 1R 1R 1R 3R[a] 1R Q1 0 / 8 2–7
Wimbledon A 2R 1R 2R 2R 2R A 2R 1R 2R 1R 2R Q2 0 / 10 7–10
US Open A 4R 1R Q1 1R 2R A 1R 2R 1R 1R 1R A 0 / 9 5–9
Win–Loss 0–0 4–2 0–4 1–3 1–2 3–4 1–1 1–4 2–4 1–4 4–3 1–4 0–0 0 / 36 19–35
ATP Masters Series 1000
Indian Wells A A 1R 1R Q2 1R 2R A 1R 1R 1R A Q1 0 / 7 1–7
Miami A A 1R 2R 2R 4R 1R 2R 1R 4R 1R 1R 1R 0 / 11 9–11
Monte Carlo A A 2R A A 2R A A A A 1R A A 0 / 3 2–3
Madrid A Q1 A A A 2R A A A 1R 1R Q2 A 0 / 3 1–3
Rome A A 1R Q2 A 1R A A A A A A A 0 / 2 0–2
Canada A A A Q2 A A A Q1 1R Q1 1R A A 0 / 2 0–2
Cincinnati A A 1R 1R 2R 1R A Q1 2R 2R Q1 A A 0 / 6 3–6
Shanghai Not Masters Series 1R 1R A A Q1 A A A A 0 / 2 0–2
Paris A A Q1 A 2R 2R A Q2 A A A A A 0 / 2 2–2
Hamburg A A 1R A Not Masters Series 0 / 1 0–1
Win–Loss 0–0 0–0 1–6 1–3 3–4 6–8 1–2 1–1 1–4 3–4 0–5 0–1 0–1 0 / 39 17–39
Career Statistics
Titles / Finals 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 0 1 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 0 1 / 3
Overall Win–Loss 0–0 9–8 21–32 11–20 14–19 29–31 3–9 10–14 9–20 27–26 11–20 9–18 0–3 153–220
Year-end Ranking 420 58 84 129 40 53 304 65 79 40 97 119 519 41%

a 2015 French Open counts as 2 wins, 0 losses. Kei Nishikori received a walkover in the third round, after Becker withdrew because of a muscle tear in his right shoulder,[8] does not count as a Becker loss (nor a Nishikori win).

DoublesEdit

Tournament 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 SR W-L
Grand Slam tournaments
Australian Open 1R A A 1R 3R A 1R 1R 3R 2R A 0 / 7 5–7
French Open 1R A A 2R A 2R 1R 1R 1R A A 0 / 6 2–6
Wimbledon 3R A 1R 1R A 2R A 1R 1R A A 0 / 6 3–6
US Open 1R A 1R 2R A 1R A 2R A A A 0 / 5 2–5
Win–Loss 2–4 0–0 0–2 2–4 2–1 2–3 0–2 1–4 2–3 1–1 0–0 0 / 24 12–24

Wins over top 10 playersEdit

Season 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Total
Wins 0 0 1 1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
# Player Rank Event Surface Rd Score BB
Rank
2007
1.   Tomáš Berdych 10 Bangkok, Thailand Hard (i) SF 3–6, 6–4, 6–4 79
2008
2.   Nikolay Davydenko 4 Wimbledon, London, United Kingdom Grass 1R 6–4, 6–4, 6–4 116
2009
3.   Fernando Verdasco 8 s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands Grass 2R 7–5, 7–6(7–4) 82
2010
4.   Nikolay Davydenko 5 Halle, Germany Grass 2R 6–3, 6–4 52
5.   Fernando Verdasco 8 Bangkok, Thailand Hard (i) 2R 6–4, 6–4 65
2011
6.   Fernando Verdasco 9 Brisbane, Australia Hard 1R 6–1, 6–7(2–7), 6–3 53

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dudenredaktion; Kleiner, Stefan; Knöbl, Ralf (2015) [First published 1962]. Das Aussprachewörterbuch [The Pronunciation Dictionary] (in German) (7th ed.). Berlin: Dudenverlag. pp. 223, 227. ISBN 978-3-411-04067-4.
  2. ^ Krech, Eva-Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz Christian (2009). Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch [German Pronunciation Dictionary] (in German). Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. pp. 358, 364. ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6.
  3. ^ Faulkner, Cynthia (3 September 2006). "Germany's other B. Becker". ESPN.com. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  4. ^ http://www.atpworldtour.com/Tennis/Players/Be/B/Benjamin-Becker.aspx
  5. ^ "Benjamin Becker". Baylor University. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  6. ^ Benjamin Becker Tennis: December 2006 Archived 9 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "German Becker claims maiden title". BBC Sport. 20 June 2009. Retrieved 22 June 2009.
  8. ^ Herman, Martyn (28 May 2015). "Tennis-Nishikori through to last 16 after Becker pulls out". Reuters. Retrieved 28 May 2015.

External linksEdit